In 1989 there was an oil spilled caused by captain Joseph Hazelwood of the American oil tanker Exxon Valdez when it crashed with Bligh Reef.
The crash was caused due to the captain practically not listening to the coast guard and trying to dodge some small ice bergs his way. The tanker couldn’t turn fast enough and so it collided with the reef after they passed Busby Island. Due to the collision there was an oil spill that spreaded about 41,000 to 132,000 square miles and it also polluted 1,900km of coastland
The collision did more than just pollute though, in the process of pollution it killed various and a huge number of animals.
The oil pollution killed about 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 250 bald eagles and about 22 killer whales. The owner of the company that the tanker belonged paid about 3.5 billion dollars in connection with the spill and about 2.1 billion went towards the clean up process. The NOAA stated that actually the cleanup process didn’t help the environment but actually hurt the environment due to pressure washing. NOAA confirmed that pressure washing actually killed marine life.
The public believe that the cleanup operation should still be continued because it is the way to save animals. Stretches of the beach that had unclean life was at the time was supposed to be clean in about 18 months but for the clean part of the beach, it wasn’t supposed to be clean for about 3 to 4 years at the time.